PROMETHEUS - Canada's wildfire growth simulator




Barber, Jared
Bose, Chris
Bourlioux, Anne
Braun, John
Brunelle, Eric
Bryce, Robert
Garcia, Tanya
Hillen, Thomas
Lam, Clement
Ong, Ben

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PROMETHEUS is Canada's state-of-the-art wildfire growth modelling software program. Conceived in 1999 and developed over intervening years, PROMETHEUS now allows for accurate, fast, multi-day forecasts of moving fire fronts. Currently, the software is used in fire fighting situations, in fire risk analysis and in the design of 'fire-safe' communities and forests. The core of PROMETHEUS is an algorithm (the 'Engine') that calculates the evolution of the fire front using a marker method. The computational rules for moving the front are based on the well-accepted theoretical work of Richards [2], and Richards, Bryce [7]. The theory uses elliptical growth of a fire front on the 'microscopic' scale (eccentricity and orientation of axes based on local wind and slope conditions) and Hugyens' principle, treating the fire front as an infinite collection of microscopic, independent elliptical fires. This approach is very natural, and the implementation in PROMETHEUS gives good results in the field.